Athlete of Week: Seahawks get big boost from Soapes

mbswim-soapesMyrtle Beach High senior Kandes Soapes, who began her swimming career at the age of 6, used her experience and maintained her focus to establish crushing records for the Seahawks swim team and capture a gold medal at last week’s Class 3A state championships.

The Myrtle Beach girls made Seahawks swimming program history as they placed fifth out of 52 teams at the championship round in Columbia. In addition to helping her team reach new heights, Soapes also scored some much-deserved individual honors.

Soapes showed why she was voted the Mammy’s Kitchen Athlete of the week after she stood atop the podium to take the gold medal for the 100-yard back stroke with a record time of 57.09 seconds.

“Winning gold was amazing,” Soapes recalled. “As a swimmer, I know that my ultimate competition is the time on the scoreboard and I kept that mindset throughout the whole session, so I guess it helped me out a bit. Seeing the ‘1’ by my name when I touched the wall after my swim is a feeling I can’t explain.”

Despite the pressure on Soapes and the team, she managed to stay calm and come out on top. She described the event as breathtaking and managed to keep her abilities and talents with a humble attitude and a mindset to not only improve her skills but to help her fellow teammates progress in this competitive sport.

“The atmosphere at those level meets is unlike any other,” Soapes said. “It’s easy to psych yourself out if you’re not careful but I knew I was there ultimately to be a team player and a motivator for a lot of the younger swimmers.”

This was Soapes first year as being a part of the Seahawk family as she recently transferred from Jacksonville, Florida. Her move was certainly beneficial for the Seahawks as she was a major part in putting another title on the board. Her swimming attitude is far more than just setting records but about forming a bond like no other with a special group of people.

“I enjoy swimming because, although most of your races are individual, you still have a team that treats you like family and I think that’s really important,” Soapes said. “The team feel you get when you’re at states really makes you want to swim your absolute best (for your teammates).”

Soapes can move on to the next level knowing she made a major impact not only on this year’s team, but also the program as a whole.

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